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Graeme Swann on the Ashes: Archer could be the best in the world for the next 10 years

Marnus Labuschagne - Australia
Marnus Labuschagne stepped in for Steve Smith at Lord's and played superbly
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England may not have won the second Ashes Test but Graeme Swann believes they have uncovered a man who can dominate Test cricket for the next decade...

"How can you possibly discern between one serious injury or another? Either cricket has to bring in full substitutions or not at all. It's bonkers as it stands."

England are going into the Third Test match as heavy odds-on favourites because Steve Smith is not playing. The hosts would have won the first Test if Smith hadn't played in it. Even in the Second Test, they would have won it if he hadn't got 90.

But they will also go to Headingley with a brand new star in their ranks. I told you Jofra would be like this - an absolute crackerjack.

Even Sir Viv is impressed by Jofra's bouncer

At Lord's, we saw how much of a potential match-winner Jofra Archer is and England need to wrap him in cotton wool to make sure he's fit for the next 10 years. Fast bowlers like that don't come along too often and we are the lucky ones because we've got him. We need to try and keep hold of him for as many years as possible.

He was bowling on a slow, benign wicket at Lord's and getting that sort of result. Had he bowled first on that day delayed by rain when England had to bat and it was doing a bit, who knows what could have been?

I was speaking to Sir Viv Richards, possibly the greatest player of short, fast bowling the world has ever seen, and he was saying that the thing with Archer is that there is just no sign whatsoever that the bouncer is coming.

All bowlers give off signs when they're going to do something different, whether it's putting extra effort in the action or there's extra pace in the run-up. Those who can get it out with exactly the same action without the slightest difference in release point in the wrist and yet can still bowl quick enough to hit you are the difficult ones. Archer has that in abundance. That's why he's hitting some of the world's best players like Hashim Amla in the World Cup or Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne in this game.

You can't always say what the sign is that they're going to bowl a bouncer but you just pick things up without even knowing what they are. Everyone gives off signs, like poker players have tells, and only the best in the world are able to pick them up of their peers. Archer doesn't seem to have a tell.

Archer must retain strike status

England have never used an out-and-out rapid strike bowler. Steve Harmison definitely was that but he wasn't used as an absolute strike bowler; he still had to bowl 25 or 30 overs a day. We haven't had a 15-overs-a-day guy bowling flat out. Now they've got him, they need to find out how to use him best because you've got the makings of the best team in the world once you've got the world's best fast bowler, which I think Archer is right now.

Joe Root is a very intelligent captain and he will know that he needs to use Jofra Archer so that he is always rapid. He will never want to use him when he's knackered. The key is to always use him as a strike bowler and let other people bowl the donkey overs, the hard yards. He is not the bowler you want to make do that and England will work that out. There is a way and means of treating Archer and if Root does well by him, England will have the best bowler in the world for the next 10 years.

Broad has Warner's number right now but this fight isn't over

Broad1280.jpg

Broady is bowling exceptionally well to David Warner at the minute and he's exploiting that weakness I talked about before the series, just above the off stump. It's an area where you don't really face many balls with a white ball, certainly not that behave as the red one does early on in your innings. At the moment, he looks like a Test No 4 or No 5 who is opening the batting, which he is not. He's a very good opening batsman, but he's having the same struggles that he had last time he was here and it's a glaring weakness.

Getting him cheaply at the top of the innings exposes their middle order and without Steve Smith, they are half the team so I hope Broady keeps bowling beautifully at him. I don't think Australia will drop Warner because he's a world-class player and you don't drop world-class players unless they're past it - which he is very much not.

Substitution rule is baffling

This concussion substitution is absolute nonsense. Why just allow a substitute on the grounds of concussion? Why not if someone breaks an arm or breaks a leg or shatters their knee? It makes no sense whatsoever for it to be solely concussion for me. You either have full substitutions or not at all.

I'm not saying this just because Labuschagne came in and saved the game for Australia and I'm not saying that concussion isn't a serious issue, but you cannot just arbitrarily say concussion is more serious than, say, a broken leg or a broken back and so you can have a sub.

When I saw Labuschagne coming out to bat at No 4, I thought my phone was broken or I'd been on Mars for a month. I didn't know what was going on! I'm gobsmacked that it's happening.

Concussion is clearly a serious injury but I don't see why it merits a substitute any more than any other very serious injury. Somehow, you're allowed a substitution for this but you're not allowed a runner if you get injured while you're batting. How can you possibly discern between one serious injury or another? Either cricket has to bring in full substitutions or not at all. It's bonkers as it stands.

Graeme Swann,

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